Understanding Transport Protocols: Who Can Ride Along

The operation of commercial vehicles is regulated by a series of rules and regulations designed to ensure safety and security. One such rule, under § 392.60 of the Code of Federal Regulations, explicitly prohibits the transportation of “unauthorized persons” in commercial motor vehicles (with some exceptions). Let’s break it down.

The Basic Rule

The essence of § 392.60 is simple: 

Unless a driver has received written authorization from the motor carrier operating the commercial motor vehicle, they are not permitted to transport any unauthorized person in the vehicle (except in the case of buses).

Authorization Requirements

When written authorization is granted, the following must be clearly stated:

  1. The name of the person being transported.
  2. The locations where the transportation will commence and conclude.
  3. The authorization’s expiration date

Exceptions to the Rule

However, there are certain situations where written authorization is not required:

1. For Assigned Employees or Persons:

  • If a motor carrier assigns employees or other individuals to a commercial motor vehicle, no written authorization is needed to transport them.

2. For Emergency Situations:

  • In the event of an accident or other emergencies, any person being transported to render aid does not need authorization.

3. For Livestock Attendants:

  • Individuals delegated to care for any livestock being transported do not require written authorization.

Bonus: Farmer’s Exemption

  • Furthermore, farmers operating commercial vehicles to transport agricultural products from their farm, or to transport supplies to their farm, are exempt from this section, as, simply put, farmers do not need written authorization to transport people in commercial vehicles when engaged in agriculture-related activities.

Remember: understanding and following transport rules is crucial for anyone involved with commercial motor vehicles, as it ensures the safety of the driver, the passengers, and others on the road. 

Likewise, it is important to keep in mind that unauthorized transportation can lead to severe consequences, including penalties and the invalidation of insurance, both for the drivers and motor carriers. 

For these reasons, making sure to routinely check for proper authorization before allowing any person on your commercial motor vehicle, and keeping up to date with the latest compliance and safety regulations is imperative!